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June 24, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.

City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place               

Room 400

STAFF IN ATTENDENCE:  Executive Secretary Tamara Odisho Benjamin – Taxi Commission, City Attorney Tom Owen, Sergeant Ron Reynolds- SFPD-Detail


  1.  Call to Order/Roll Call
    : Benjamin, Breslin, Gillespie, Oneto, Slaughter, Suval         Absent: Paek
  2. Commissioner Announcements [INFORMATION]

·         Sgt. Reynolds: Overview of items. 

·         Com Breslin: Cartwright Hotel changed its name to Larkspur Hotel Union Square.


Public Comment

·         Robert Cesano: Board of Appeals upset that the Commission does not have a disability program and will allow Friedman to keep his medallion.


  1. Public Comment

·         Marty Smith: The workers’ compensation policy should be discussed and other insurance options should be allowed. 

·         Bill Mounsey: Something should be done about brokering.  Against meter increase but something needs to done. Paying more for gas and making less money.

·         Robert Cesano: Medallion holder Association concerned about color scheme medallion standards, since this would prohibit medallion holders from operating medallions.

·         Jim Gillespie:  Daly/Ma legislation should be calendared.

·         Naim Malik: Commission to ask Board of Supervisors to reverse gas and gate to $86.50 permanently due to high gas prices. Color schemes to pay at least 50% of gas prices.

·         Tariq Mehmood: Why are there no non-white Commissioners on the Commission? Gas increase should be addressed.

·         Mary McGuire: UTW newsletter sounds a little threatening. Statements should be looked at more seriously. Drivers not represented by UTW.

·         Mark Gruberg: Yellow posted notice that drivers have to pay shifts in advance which is serious for a driver to pay 1-2k a month before.  Taxi commission should take action against this.

·         Com Breslin:  What do we need to do to get Daly/ Ma language on the agenda?

·         Pres Gillespie:  Waiting for language from city attorney

·         City Attorney:  Is drafting language that may be ready for the July 8 meeting.


·         Pres Gillespie: Acting Director to draft notice to the folks who will be placed on the list due to this change.

·         City Attorney:  Shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.  Should wait to see what the next steps are before contacting anyone.


  1. Consent Calendar [ACTION]

·         Pres Gillespie:  Sever all items in A and B3 for recusals. Item A6 to be continued to July 8, 2008.

Public Comment

·         Jane Bolig: Thanks Theodore Gray for making the content change on his color scheme change application.

·         Com Breslin:Staff to look closer at applications before accepting.

·         Jim Gillespie:B-2 very good driver at DeSoto congratulations.

·         Bashir Rahimi:DeSoto best company with great service.

·         Martin Smith:Congratulations to Anatoly Shirin.

·         Com Slaughter: Motion to approve color scheme change to A1- Charles Kleiman from DeSoto to B&W Checker

·         Com Oneto: 2nd motion

AYES: Benjamin, Breslin, Gillespie, Oneto, Slaughter, Suval    NO: 0

ABSENT: Paek                                                                            RECUSE: 0


·         Com Oneto: Motion to approve color scheme change to A2- Michael Wilson from Metro to Luxor and A3- Theodore Gray from DeSoto to Luxor

·         Com Breslin: 2nd motion

AYES: Breslin, Gillespie, Oneto, Slaughter, Suval                     NO: 0

ABSENT: Paek                                                                RECUSE: Benjamin


·         Com Slaughter: Motion to approve color scheme change to A4- Antonio Vasquez from Yellow to Fog City and A5- Edwin Santiago from DeSoto to Yellow.

·         Com Oneto:  2nd motion

AYES: Benjamin, Breslin, Oneto, Slaughter, Suval        NO: 0

ABSENT: Paek                                                                RECUSE: Gillespie


·         Com Oneto: Grant medallions pending background search to B1- Anatoly Shirin, B2-Vincent Mierjeski, B4- Michael Farruggia and B5- Danil Levi

·         Com Breslin: 2nd motion.

AYES: Benjamin, Breslin, Oneto, Slaughter, Suval        NO: 0

ABSENT: Paek                                                                RECUSE: Gillespie


·         Com Oneto: Grant medallions pending background search to B3- Igor Traub

·         Com Slaughter: 2nd motion

AYES: Breslin, Gillespie, Oneto, Slaughter, Suval                     NO: 0

ABSENT: Paek                                                                RECUSE: Benjamin



  1. Consideration of Clean Air Taxi Program: Proposed Amendments to Rules 4.A.6, and Sections 5.D and 5.G, Proposed Deletion of Rules 4.A.8, 5.B.1, 5.B.3, and 5.B.8 of the Rules and Regulations, Proposed Penalties (see Explanatory Documents for Proposed Amendments) [ACTION]

·         Pres Gillespie: Overview of item.

·         Com Oneto: Concerned with penalty phase should have one set of penalties not two.

·         Pres Gillespie: This is not time critical and this section could be continued until the Director’s return.

·         Com Breslin: Would like to discuss the items only tonight.

·         Com Slaughter:  If there is no pressure to vote, then we should discuss this tonight.

·         City Attorney:  Some penalties will need to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

·         Pres Gillespie:  Should not need to use or issue the penalties as long as staff monitors the program.

·         Com Oneto: Some issues with penalty structure. Should not take away airport privileges for airport and only prefers 1a. Under 2nd penalty, make monetary fee the same and suspension should be for 6 months not one year. Under 3rd violation remove 3a. If color scheme manages to get 3 violations, should be revoked.

·         Com Breslin: Is there a scenario where a color scheme could unconsciously have 3 violations.

·         Com Oneto: No, staff would alert them after their first violation.


Public Comment

·         Charles Rathbone:  Commissioner Oneto’s suggestions make sense.  Clean air is not a specific vehicle but rather a fleet average.

·         Pres Gillespie: Taxi Commission is to be heavy on helping and less on the fines.

·         Marty Smith: What if a vehicle is wrecked but was not ready to leave the fleet, would a replacement be required to be a alternative fuel?

·         Dan  Hinds:  Supports program but feels like the commission is moving too quickly on the issue. Rules on model year should not change and be left at 8 years. Uncomfortable with the fees and variability

·         Jane Bolig: How successful will the commission staff and color schemes be at working together to implementing the program?

·         Mark Gurberg: Penalties are fine but should not be automatic. Incentive to violators to comply or to pay violation.

·         Thomas George Williams:  Important to include spares under the rules.

·         Tariq Mehmood: Cutting years from 8 to 4 should be examined more closely.

·         Mike Spain: Approves of changes but fines are an issue.

·         Jim Gillespie: Concerned with having to have inspection 2 times per year. Commission is trying hard to regulate the industry. Costs will be high if color schemes are required to have all new vehicles.

·         Bashir Rahimi:  Salvaged vehicles are good.

·         Com Breslin:  There should be a grace period before the penalties are put into effect.  As a goodwill effort.

·         Com Benjamin:  Fines can be reduced to 1k/ medallion and then reduce fees across the board. When will the first vehicle be inspected? Will it be within the 1st 6 months or later?

·         Com Slaughter: Fines to be revamped. Concerned with the fine and penalty structure. Age is also an issue of concern. Newer cabs are in better condition and public deserves to have good and clean fleet.  Not sure what’s a better solution ; mileage vs age of vehicle and should be considered carefully.

·         Pres Gillespie: Would consider 6 years as opposed to 5 years and this wouldn’t take place for 2 more years. 

·         Com Breslin: Voted to increase cab life to 8 years due to sympathy of color scheme burdens, but takes a lot of taxis and questions judgment would rather see a cleaner fleet.

·         Com Oneto: Concerned that companies were given an increase fee of $7.50 for new vehicles but cannot afford to purchase new vehicles. Hesitating to include salvaged vehicles into fleet. Motion to approve the clean air resolution with amendments to change section 6 to replace “color scheme” to “vehicle” and add “inspection” before approve.

·         Com Suval: Second motion

AYES: Benjamin, Breslin, Gillespie, Oneto, Slaughter, Suval    NO: 0

ABSENT: Paek                                                                            RECUSE: 0


  1. Consideration of 2008 Color Scheme Standards: Proposed Rules 4.A.13 and 5.A.10, Amendments to MPC § 1125; and Proposed 2008 Color Scheme Standards (see Explanatory Documents for Proposed Amendments)  [DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION]

·         Pres Gillespie:  A lot of provisions to this item and inclined to bring it to the Rules Committee, but would like input from Commissioners who do not attend the subcommittee.

·         Com Benjamin:  Suggestions brought to Director from him and Charles Rathbone.  Having a manager at each company would make it easier for the companies and commission staff.  Financial statements should be provided by every company to their employees. 1099 helps avoid abuses in the system.  Gas and gate would control who gets behind the wheel. Is flexible with companies who have less than 5 medallions but does not want to allow single shifters.

·         Com Slaughter: Important that there are standards but concerned with the penalties. Doesn’t like non-compliance and prevention of color scheme change if it occurs. Medallion holders shouldn’t be penalized, color scheme should be. Six month random investigations of color schemes should occur to ensure compliance.

Public Comment

·         Mark Gruberg: Conflict of interest since Commissioner Benjamin helped create rules to benefit larger company which he represents.  He should be recused from the vote. A minimum of 5 medallions would be difficult for anyone to start a new color scheme. For smaller companies that have 5 medallions and loose  one would mean a suspension.

·         Robert Cesano:  Rule passed conflicts with proposed rule. Credit card issue is expensive and will out small companies.

·         Marty Smith: Credit card fees are outrageous and color schemes should be allowed to charge a service fee. Delta gets at leat 10 transactions per day. 1099’s are an issue since it is not the commission’s business what is being charged. This would impose on the business model.

·         Carl Macmurdo: Agrees with Commissioner Slaughter but shouldn’t restrict criteria not adopted by the Commission. Restrictions on manager contact to be an A-card holder or medallion holder doesn’t make sense. Credit card issue good for a year, but would cause mistrust since the MUNI debit card swipe program will be launched.

·         Mary McGuire: 1099’s are issued annual by Federal tax law. Debit swipe program to begin soon why do this? Manager requirements don’t make sense.

·         Dan Hinds:  Has a problem with a number of proposals. Rule committee should hear this first. No justification for by-passing the Rules committee. Gas and gate requirement would transform the industry.

·         Mike Spain: Rules are self serving for that cab company.

·         Jim Gillespie: Doesn’t understand the managers’ requirement.  Debit card swipe program to take place shortly, should wait for its completion.

·         Charles Rathbone: No prevention of changing out of but rather into a color scheme.

·         Bashir Rahimi: Commission shouldn’t regulate industry.

·         Thomas George Williams: Monopolized industry doesn’t work only favors larger companies.

·         Name: If you stop long term lease driving will create big problems in trying to get a taxi from a company lot.

·         Jane Bolig: Should include multiple voices when putting rules together. Long term leasing abuse must be addressed but proposed solution too drastic.

·         Bill Mounsey:  Long term leases worst thing that has happened to the industry. They make more money and the drivers and vehicles are hard to enforce.

·         Mohamed Booya: Eliminating long term leases not a good idea. Some drive double-shift but otherwise don’t violate the rules.

·         Tariq Mehmood: Allow color schemes to have any managers they want.  Airport has lots mostly filled with leased drivers.


7.         Adjournment – 8:50pm



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